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IBM Paves the Way for Smarter Products and Services Innovation in the Consumer Electronics Industry


BERLIN, Germany - At IFA 2010 IBM (NYSE: IBM) will showcase how it can help Consumer Electronics (CE) manufacturers shift to a services-based business model to provide better device management, enable the quick development and launch of new value-added service capabilities and find new revenue streams. (IBM is in the IFA TecWatch area, Hall 8.1, Booth #15)

Additionally IBM Senior Vice President, Software Solutions Group, Michael Rhodin will address the challenges and opportunities ahead for the CE industry in an IFA International Keynote titled “Smarter Products and Services: Transforming the Consumer Electronics industry,” on Saturday, Sept 4 at 09:45 am in the IFA Press Centre.

With 1.2 billion connected consumer electronics devices expected in the more than 800 million homes with broadband connections by 2013, today’s Internet of people is evolving into an “internet of things.” However CE manufacturers are challenged to build the IT infrastructures required to efficiently manage the tidal wave of smart, connected devices and their related service components. They are also challenged to glean customer insights form all the data to aid in further product and service development.

“IBM believes smarter products and services innovations in the CE industry will be galvanized through a cloud computing infrastructure using a common services delivery platform based on industry standards,” said Bruce Anderson, general manager, IBM Global Electronics Industry. “This will help CE companies not only manage the connected devices, but also maintain a direct, continuous connection to end-users through the smarter devices, offering the potential to change the way the industry operates and provides services to its customers.”

Since the same cloud-based infrastructure could be used for a variety of CE devices and appliances -- from TVs, to air conditioners to coffee pots, home security systems and wellness devices -- it will also open a host of new capabilities and service possibilities for the smarter home.

IBM Smarter Home Demos at IFA 2010:

At IFA 2010 IBM is demonstrating its vision for a smarter home by showcasing a number of possible products and services innovations that could be enabled by cloud technology, including:

* Cloud linkage: IBM is collaborating with business partner Shaspa Research Ltd. to connect devices in the home to a cloud-based service infrastructure. This is accomplished through the Shaspa Bridge, a universal translator based on IBM embedded software, which enables the interaction between sensors, appliances and IBM’s cloud based services. The IFA demo will showcase a number of applications including a smart thermostat taking input from a utility company and the weather report to automatically set the best and most economical temperature.

Additionally a virtual operations center will be demonstrated which shows the capability to remotely link pilot sites across London, Singapore, Tokyo, Dallas and Hawthorne, NY. This will allow for remote handling of service alerts, such as malfunctioning appliances or equipment.

* Entertainment: Philips Net TV

A new generation of TVs are optimized for the viewing of Internet content, breaking new ground in digital media convergence. IBM’s scalable, cloud-based service infrastructure and portal gives viewers seamless access to personalized web services, content, and hybrid broadcast broadband TV. It also provides media organizations with a new cost-effective, intelligent “on-demand” content distribution approach including pin-point target advertising.

* Intelligent appliances enable energy management

Connected appliances in the smarter home will allow consumers to realize a reduction in peak energy consumption, lower energy costs and achieve a higher degree of comfort and safety. Through an intuitively operated user interface developed by IBM business partner Granny & Smith, connected via IBM’s developer cloud to Miele@home appliances located in the ZVEH booth, this demo will showcase how appliances can be controlled remotely and provide status updates and consumption data on energy used or money spent.

* Car Management System

Car management systems are typically isolated environments. However connecting them to an open cloud-based service-delivery platform offers new potential for device manufacturers, service providers and the end-customer. This demo will show how a car user interface prototype can be connected via IBM’s service delivery cloud, synchronizing home-related services and appliances so they can be monitored and controlled from the vehicle

Additional IBM IFA 2010 Demos include:

* Product Development Integration Framework (PDIF) for Smarter Products

Based on open standards and supported by leading Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) applications, the PDIF demo addresses the challenges many leading companies have in synchronizing data and processes across their entire design chain. This demo will highlight how realtime usage data can be used to enhance warranty service and product development.

* Integrated development environment

IBM Rational’s comprehensive systems portfolio enables companies to manage complexity and develop innovative products faster. The IFA demo will showcase how an energy measurement and information system, built with Rational tools, can enable household customers to measure their electricity consumption by the second and also show the associated emissions. This enables “energy guzzlers” in the home to be identified swiftly, reducing peak loads, resulting in lower energy consumption and smaller carbon footprints.

* Service management

IBM’s Maximo Asset and Service Management solution extends the availability of smart devices. By combining information from devices connected to the Shaspa Bridge with the information available from the cloud based service infrastructure, a comprehensive status of all asset/device types is provided, allowing for predictive and preventative maintenance.

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